|Frequently Asked Questions|
What is the difference between submitting an idea with or without a patent?
HAVE A PATENT: Use this choice if you have filed a Design or Utility patent application and know your application number and filing date. We encourage all inventors to use this option if at all possible since it provides the best protection for both parties. DO NOT HAVE A PATENT: If you are NOT a resident of the United States or Canada, we will only consider ideas for which a patent has been applied. This, in our opinion, is the best way of ensuring that your intellectual property is afforded the utmost protection possible. If you have not yet applied for a patent in respect of your idea we would suggest that you contact your national Patent Office, or the European Patent Office. If you are a US or Canadian resident, and you feel that your invention is unique and valuable, but you have not invested the effort and money into obtaining patent protection, and you do not plan to pursue patent protection in the future.
What are my rights to my idea after I submit it?
You will rely solely upon your rights under the patent laws for compensation for your idea. If the Company is interested in your Idea, you will negotiate with the Company for rights to any patent rights that you have related to your idea. If you have no valid, enforceable patent rights that cover the Company’s use of your Idea, the Company is under no obligation to compensate you for your Idea, and, if the Company does compensate you, the payment will not exceed $5,000 (US).
Can I save a proposal without submitting it?
Yes. You can save your proposal at any time by clicking on the "Save Draft" button on the submission page. You can easily find all your idea drafts in the "My Profile" section.
What happens after I submit my idea?
When an idea is submitted, it is delivered for review to the appropriate person at our company. You will receive a response via email or phone only if the company is interested in your idea. If the company does not find your idea of any interest to the business, you will receive an emailing stating this.
How does Stanley Black & Decker decide on which ideas to consider?
Stanley Black & Decker’s Technical and Marketing people carefully review and evaluate ideas and find interest in ideas that align with our business needs. 1.) Uniqueness of Idea: Is this idea unique – have you taken a really good look to see if someone else has already invented your idea? 2.) Commercial Viability: If you believe your idea is unique and possibly patentable, have you determined if it could be manufactured and sold for a reasonable price? 3.) Fit within our Brands: If your idea seems to be novel and you have some understanding of what it might involve to manufacture it, as well as what it might cost at retail, have you thought about how well it would fit within the Stanley Black & Decker business model?
Can I find out why my idea is not being considered?
If we do not have any interest in acquiring rights to your submitted idea this may be based on a variety of reasons. For example, the idea may be already publicly known, being used and/or under development by Stanley Black & Decker, or believed not to be a viable business opportunity for Stanley Black & Decker at this time. Because of the volume of ideas we receive for review, and because of confidentiality and trade secret restrictions that may apply we do not give the specific reason for our lack of interest.
Pre-existing ideas and Patent Information
Here are some suggestions on how to research your idea: Have you looked on a general purpose internet search engine like “Google” http://www.google.com to see what comes up? Have you looked on the Stanley Black & Decker global website to see if there is a similar tool or product already offered for sale, possibly in a different part of the world? Have you looked on tools and hardware retailer web sites or catalogs to see if they are offering a similar tool or product for sale? Have you gone to the US Patent and Trademark website http://patft.uspto.gov to look for similar ideas?
How can I determine the commercial viability of my idea?
Are there products on the market that use similar components as your idea (electric motors, plastic housings, sheet metal pieces, metal or plastic gears, metal castings, electronic controls and sensors) that you could combine together to make your idea? Have you approached manufacturing or design firms to obtain cost estimates? Have you built a prototype and documented its construction and benefits with photos and video that could be easily shared with reviewers?
How can I tell if my idea fits within your Brands?
Is the problem solved by your idea a problem that is experienced by a large number of consumers? Does the idea logically complement any of the product categories as shown on the Stanley Black & Decker websites? Does the idea improve upon an existing tool in some way such as: Comfort & Ergonomics, Durability, Noise & Vibration, Efficiency in Job Completion, Environmental Impact (dust control, recycle-ability), Accuracy or Appearance of Completed Job, Complexity or Cost of actual Tool Construction, Diversity of Applications a Tool can be used for.
Can I send in additional documents to someone at Stanley Black & Decker via email or mail?
Please submit all attachements such as pictures, PDFs or other materials with your online submission. Ideas submitted through any other means will not be accepted and will be returned to the sender.
**This information does not constitute legal advice or a promise that Stanley Black & Decker will purchase or license your idea even if it meets all of these criteria.**
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